Man smashed van with ratchet

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple - Credit: Archant

Fisherman went to man’s house with a ratchet after discovering he had made advances on his partner.

A MAN smashed the windows, mirrors and lights of a van with a ratchet after discovering a conversation between its owner and his partner.

James Cheshire, 27, of 10 Broadfield Road, Barnstaple, took the tool to the house of Wayne Keenan after he found out he had made advances on his partner.

He saw a conversation on Facebook between the two of them and confronted her, and she told him she had felt uncomfortable about Mr Keenan’s intentions.

Prosecutor Karen Ball said Cheshire, who works as a fisherman, then visited Mr Keenan’s home in Braunton on February 14 with the ratchet in hand.

She said: “The door was opened by Mr Keenan’s partner, who saw he had an object in his hand and closed the door.

“She was frightened and called 999.

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“Cheshire then walked towards Mr Keenan’s van, and proceeded to smash every window, wing mirror, and exterior light.”

In interview, Cheshire admitted that he had taken the ratchet to the house with the intention of damaging the van if Mr Keenan would not talk to him.

Tim Hook, defending, said Mr Keenan had made his intentions towards Cheshire’s partner ‘perfectly clear’.

He said his client should have reported the matter to the police, and has now learnt from his mistake.

Appearing before magistrates on Friday, Cheshire pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to the Mercedes sprinter van.

Magistrates sentenced Cheshire on Friday to a conditional discharge for 18 months and ordered him to pay £500 in compensation to Mr Keenan.

Robin Hagley, chairman of the bench, said: “Even though there was provocation you went there equipped to do damage; you took that ratchet with you and you were going to hit that vehicle.

“There was a young child in the property; you didn’t think about your two children before you did this.”

Magistrates also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the ratchet.

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